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Pavlovas! Hooray!

March 11, 2011

Ever since the dinner party that Mark’s sister Kylie hosted, I can’t get pavlovas off the brain! It is such a delicious dessert, and something my American palate had never experienced before. I guess I can’t say that I’ve had the ‘traditional’ Australian pavlova (named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova), that is made with a hardened meringue “nest” topped with cream and some kind of fruit, usually berries. Kylie’s version was the meringue “nest” topped with lemon curd, greek yogurt, and raspberry coulis. YUM.

Here is the traditional recipe to give you an idea. If you want to make the ‘pimped- out’ version, just make a lemon curd, sub the cream for greek yogurt, and use the berries to make a coulis. You won’t be disappointed.













Classic Pavlova Recipe (from Exclusively Food)

4 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons caster sugar

3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

About 400ml (1 2/3 cups) heavy cream, whipped
Fruit of your choice

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius (180 degrees Celsius fan-forced).

Using a pencil, draw a 20cm diameter circle on a sheet of non-stick baking paper. We trace around the inside of a 20cm diameter springform pan (base removed).

Place paper, pencil side down (so the pencil doesn’t touch the pavlova), on a large baking tray. If your baking tray is a dark colour and you find it difficult to see the pencil line, you can place the baking paper on a light-coloured surface to make the line easier to see. Once you’ve spread the pavlova onto the paper, transfer it to the baking tray.

To make the pavlova, you’ll need electric hand-held beaters and a large bowl, or an electric mixer with a large bowl. Ensure that the beaters and bowl are very clean as oils can prevent egg whites from whipping properly.

As soon as you begin to beat the egg whites, add the cream of tartar. Beat the egg whites on high speed just until they reach the following stage: when the beaters are lifted out of the egg white mixture, the mixture forms and holds a peak that doesn’t flop over at the tip. It will probably take 1-2 minutes for your egg white mixture to reach this stage. Sprinkle one tablespoon of the sugar over the egg white mixture. Continue beating, and add one tablespoon of sugar about every 30 seconds. Once all of the sugar has been added, continue to beat the mixture for 2 minutes. The mixture should be very thick and glossy. Pile the mixture inside the circle on the baking paper. Smooth the mixture out to form a cake shape, keeping to the pencil line. Place the pavlova in the middle of the preheated oven, and then immediately reduce the heat to 100 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Celsius fan-forced). Bake for 1 hour. The pavlova will probably crack and sink during baking.

the "nest"

When the pavlova has finished baking, turn the oven off but leave the pavlova in the oven. Prop the oven door open a couple of centimetres (we use a folded tea towel). Leave the pavlova to cool in the oven for 2 hours.

Remove the pavlova from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature. Then transfer it to an airtight container until required. When ready to serve, slide pavlova off baking paper onto a serving plate, top with whipped cream and fruit and serve immediately.

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